Flea shampoos, sprays and dips are valuable tools in a flea-control program.
A flea collar alone may not be enough to provide complete relief, particularly in cases of heavy flea infestations.
Dry flea shampoo for cats
Dry, foam-type flea shampoos can be particularly useful for cats that hate being bathed, Johnson said. “Just put a dollop of it in your palm, rub it into their fur, and then maybe take a wet washcloth to help get some of the dirt and dander out,” she advised.
We strongly recommend Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Waterless Bath Foam for Cats. This dry flea treatment for cats contains certified natural oils and is highly effective at killing fleas.
If you want to wash your cat, read our advice on giving your cat a bath.
Flea sprays for cats
Flea sprays are probably the next most popular flea products after shampoos and collars, Johnson added.
Our recommendation and Amazon’s best seller with over 2,000 reviews is: Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray for Cats.
Many over-the-counter flea products contain pyrethrins, a substance derived from the chrysanthemum flower with a quick knockdown effect on fleas but a relatively short duration of the activity.
Synthetic versions are also used and give a similar quick-kill but tend to be somewhat longer-acting. Water-based or reduced-alcohol formula mousses and sprays are advertised as being gentler if your cat’s skin has already been irritated by biting fleas.
Another common ingredient found in flea shampoos is d-limonene, a citrus-based flea killer considered quite safe.
Stopping fleas from coming back
Sprays, dips, shampoos and mousses all help give your pet immediate relief by killing the biting adults, explained Elizabeth Curry-Galvin, DVM, technical services veterinarian for Sandoz Animal Health, makers of Zodiac flea control products. But it’s important not to stop there. Look for products that contain an insect growth regulator to kill flea eggs and break the flea life cycle, she advised.
We also recommend that you use carpet spray for fleas and ticks, to kill any fleas that came off your cat and are living there. Those fleas will easily reproduce in a carpet and will back onto your cat, or onto you.
Also see the complete list of cat flea treatments.